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Are Deficient Retinal Photoreceptor Renewal Mechanisms Involved in the Pathogenesis of Winter Depression?

Are Deficient Retinal Photoreceptor Renewal Mechanisms Involved in the Pathogenesis of Winter... Abstract To the Editor.— Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)1 is a recurrent form of depression associatedwith the length of daylight or photoperiod. It can be effectively treated by exposure to bright light.2 This novel therapy developed from circadian models of seasonal behavior in mammals and, by analogy, has thus been hypothesized to be a circadian intervention. One study suggests that, indeed, the response to light is mediated by the eye,3 but none of the proposed mechanisms has received unequivocal empirical support, whether it is that the therapeutic effect is mediated by a phase shift induced by a light pulse, by an augmentation of circadian amplitude, or an increase in number of photons absorbed.We suggest that SAD could be tied to a deficiency in retinal photoreceptor renewal mechanisms. Since retinal response to light is the first step in circadian rhythm regulation, understanding it is therefore crucial in considerations of References 1. Rosenthal NE, Sack DA, Gillin JC, Lewy AJ, Goodwin FK, Davenport Y, Mueller PS, Newsome DA, Wehr TA. Seasonal affective disorder: a description of the syndrome and preliminary findings with light therapy . Arch Gen Psychiatry . 1984;41:72-80.Crossref 2. Terman M, Terman JS, Quitkin FM, McGrath PJ, Stewart JW, Rafferty B. Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: a review of efficacy . Neuropsychopharmacology . 1989;2:1-22.Crossref 3. Wehr TA, Skewerer R, Jacobsen FM, Sack DA, Rosenthal NE. Eye versus skin phototherapy of seasonal affective disorder . Am J Psychiatry . 1987;144:753-757. 4. Young RW. Visual cells and the concept of renewal . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1976;15:700-725. 5. Remé C, Wirz-Justice A, Rhyner A, Hoffmann S. Circadian rhythm in the light response of rat retinal disk-shedding and autophagy . Brain Res . 1986;369:356-360.Crossref 6. Penn JS, Williams TP. Photostasis: regulation of daily photon-catch by rat retinas in response to various cyclic illuminances . Exp Eye Res . 1986;43:915-928.Crossref 7. Remé C, Young RW. The effects of hibernation on cone visual cells in the ground squirrel . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1977;6:814-840. 8. Sweeney EJ, Kinney JAS, Ryan A. Seasonal changes in scotopic sensitivity . J Opt Soc Am . 1960;50:237-240.Crossref 9. Brann MR, Cohen LV. Diurnal expression of transducin mRNA and translocation of transducin in rods of rat retina . Science . 1987;235:585-587.Crossref 10. Besharse JC. The daily light-dark cycle and rhythmic metabolism in the photoreceptorpigment epithelial complex . In: Osborne N, Chader G, eds. Progress in Retinal Research 1 . Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press Inc; 1982:81-124. 11. Korenbrot JI, Fernald RD. Circadian rhythm and light regulate opsin mRNA in rod photoreceptors . Nature . 1989;337:454-457.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Are Deficient Retinal Photoreceptor Renewal Mechanisms Involved in the Pathogenesis of Winter Depression?

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1990 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210086016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract To the Editor.— Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)1 is a recurrent form of depression associatedwith the length of daylight or photoperiod. It can be effectively treated by exposure to bright light.2 This novel therapy developed from circadian models of seasonal behavior in mammals and, by analogy, has thus been hypothesized to be a circadian intervention. One study suggests that, indeed, the response to light is mediated by the eye,3 but none of the proposed mechanisms has received unequivocal empirical support, whether it is that the therapeutic effect is mediated by a phase shift induced by a light pulse, by an augmentation of circadian amplitude, or an increase in number of photons absorbed.We suggest that SAD could be tied to a deficiency in retinal photoreceptor renewal mechanisms. Since retinal response to light is the first step in circadian rhythm regulation, understanding it is therefore crucial in considerations of References 1. Rosenthal NE, Sack DA, Gillin JC, Lewy AJ, Goodwin FK, Davenport Y, Mueller PS, Newsome DA, Wehr TA. Seasonal affective disorder: a description of the syndrome and preliminary findings with light therapy . Arch Gen Psychiatry . 1984;41:72-80.Crossref 2. Terman M, Terman JS, Quitkin FM, McGrath PJ, Stewart JW, Rafferty B. Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: a review of efficacy . Neuropsychopharmacology . 1989;2:1-22.Crossref 3. Wehr TA, Skewerer R, Jacobsen FM, Sack DA, Rosenthal NE. Eye versus skin phototherapy of seasonal affective disorder . Am J Psychiatry . 1987;144:753-757. 4. Young RW. Visual cells and the concept of renewal . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1976;15:700-725. 5. Remé C, Wirz-Justice A, Rhyner A, Hoffmann S. Circadian rhythm in the light response of rat retinal disk-shedding and autophagy . Brain Res . 1986;369:356-360.Crossref 6. Penn JS, Williams TP. Photostasis: regulation of daily photon-catch by rat retinas in response to various cyclic illuminances . Exp Eye Res . 1986;43:915-928.Crossref 7. Remé C, Young RW. The effects of hibernation on cone visual cells in the ground squirrel . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1977;6:814-840. 8. Sweeney EJ, Kinney JAS, Ryan A. Seasonal changes in scotopic sensitivity . J Opt Soc Am . 1960;50:237-240.Crossref 9. Brann MR, Cohen LV. Diurnal expression of transducin mRNA and translocation of transducin in rods of rat retina . Science . 1987;235:585-587.Crossref 10. Besharse JC. The daily light-dark cycle and rhythmic metabolism in the photoreceptorpigment epithelial complex . In: Osborne N, Chader G, eds. Progress in Retinal Research 1 . Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press Inc; 1982:81-124. 11. Korenbrot JI, Fernald RD. Circadian rhythm and light regulate opsin mRNA in rod photoreceptors . Nature . 1989;337:454-457.Crossref

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Sep 1, 1990

References